Patriots

Patriots-Chiefs injury report: Tom Brady, Cody Kessler limited at practice

Patriots-Chiefs injury report: Tom Brady, Cody Kessler limited at practice

The New England Patriots had two quarterbacks limited at Thursday's practice as they prepared for Sunday's Week 14 game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium.

Starting quarterback Tom Brady was a limited participant with toe and right elbow injuries, while third-string QB Cody Kessler was limited because of an illness. The only Patriots quarterback not on the latest injury report is rookie backup Jarrett Stidham.

Patriots wide receivers Julian Edelman (shoulder) and Mohamed Sanu (ankle) were among the six other players limited in practice. Ted Karras (knee) and rookie Byron Cowart (head) were the only Patriots who didn't practice.

Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark was added to the injury report with a shoulder issue and illness. He did not practice Thursday. Veteran running back Damien Williams also didn't practice. He's missed back-to-back practices, making his status for Sunday unclear. Kansas City already placed running back Darrel Williams on injured reserve earlier Thursday, so the Chiefs are pretty thin at that position.

Here are the full Thursday injury reports for both teams.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (10-2)

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
DL Byron Cowart, Head
OL Ted Karras, Knee

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
QB Tom Brady, Toe / Right Elbow
LB Ja'Whaun Bentley, Knee
OT Marcus Cannon, Illness
S Patrick Chung, Heel
WR Julian Edelman, Shoulder
QB Cody Kessler, Illness
CB Jason McCourty, Groin
WR Mohamed Sanu, Ankle

FULL PARTICIPATION
No Players Listed

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (8-4)

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
CB Morris Claiborne, Shoulder
CB Rashad Fenton, Hamstring
RB Damien Williams, Rib
DE Frank Clark, Shoulder/Illness

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
No Players Listed

FULL PARTICIPATION
OT Eric Fisher, Groin
CB Kendall Fuller, Thumb
QB Patrick Mahomes, Knee
DT Derrick Nnadi, Elbow
DE Alex Okafor, Ankle

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NFL conference championships see ratings drop without Patriots

NFL conference championships see ratings drop without Patriots

Love 'em or hate 'em, the New England Patriots garner the attention of the masses.

That was evident during last year's AFC Championship game vs. the Kansas City Chiefs, when an average crowd of 53.9 million people tuned in to watch the Patriots win in an overtime thriller and advance to Super Bowl 53.

To put that into perspective, this year's late-window matchup between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers drew only 42.7 million viewers, per Austin Karp of Sports Business Daily.

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Of course, much of that discrepancy has to do with Pats-Chiefs being far more competitive than Packers-Niners. Plenty of viewers likely tuned out of the latter matchup when San Francisco led Green Bay 27-0 at halftime.

Even so, it just goes to show how much more attention is paid to the NFL playoffs when Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and the rest of New England is involved. This year's AFC Championship featuring the Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs marked the first without the Patriots since 2011, and it was the smallest audience (41.1 million) for an AFC title game in 11 years.

In comparison, the early game in 2019 (Los Angeles Rams vs. New Orleans Saints) averaged roughly 44 million.

The Chiefs and 49ers will meet in Miami for Super Bowl 54. It'll be interesting to see how those ratings compare to last year's Patriots-Rams matchup.

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George Kittle celebrated Super Bowl berth with hilarious Jimmy Garoppolo shirt

George Kittle celebrated Super Bowl berth with hilarious Jimmy Garoppolo shirt

George Kittle had a little fun with his quarterback after the San Francisco 49ers beat the Green Bay Packers in Sunday night's NFC Championship Game to clinch a berth in Super Bowl LIV.

The All-Pro tight end showed up to his postgame press conference with a custom t-shirt that included a shirtless photo and autograph of 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

Check it out in the tweet below:

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Garoppolo was asked by reporters about Kittle's shirt, and he couldn't hold back his laughter.

“I got him earlier in the week with a shirt, showed it to the media and everything, so he had to get me back a little bit," a smiling Garoppolo said, per 95.7 The Game. "I thought it was a nice shirt he had on. Maybe we’ll get them in the team store soon.”

Garoppolo is no stranger to the Super Bowl. He made two Super Bowl appearances with the New England Patriots as Tom Brady's backup, and in two weeks he'll make his first start on that stage.

The 49ers quarterback hasn't had to play at an elite level for his team to reach the Super Bowl, but that should change in Miami on Feb. 2. The AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs have an offense that looks unstoppable right now, so Garoppolo likely will need to play one of his best games as a pro to give San Francisco a strong chance to win its sixth Lombardi Trophy in franchise history.

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